Giving Up or Surrendering a Ferret
If you need to rehome your pet, you want to be sure it will receive the best possible care. Most shelters are operated humanely. Unfortunately, however, well-intentioned individuals may start a shelter but be unprepared for the financial responsibilities or accept more animals than they can properly care for.
Following are some thoughts and suggestions to help you through the difficult process of rehoming your pet and selecting an appropriate shelter.
- Review the Shelter Research suggestions provided.
- Do not wait until the last minute! While some situations forcing pet placement are unexpected, it is unfair to your ferret and the shelter to assume there will always be room available. A shelter that refuses or waitlists an animal rather than take every one is wisely recognizing their own capacity limits. Certain times of the year shelters are busier and if you can do some pre-planning and work with them, the chances of acceptance for your pet improve.
- If they are full, ask about other options – are there alternative shelters they recommend, or do they offer tips for you to rehome the pet yourself? If you have a number of ferrets to be placed, at least attempt to rehome some directly. Perhaps you may have to seek a shelter at a further distance or work with more than one to place all your pets.
- Ask about the shelter’s adoption process; how ferrets are housed; and the number of animals in the shelter’s care compared to the staff/volunteers.
- What is the euthanasia policy? Could your pet potentially be put to sleep if not adopted within a specified period of time?
- Request veterinarian or other professional reference(s).
- Ask if you can quickly tour the shelter at or pre-placement. Be cautious of over-crowded conditions.
- Monetary donations are ALWAYS appropriate! A shelter may have a suggested or required surrender fee or may ask for updated vaccinations before acceptance. Unless municipal-sponsored, animal shelters receive NO government funding. All depend upon individual gifts. They may need to care for your ferret for a few weeks or many months. During that time they must pay for food, cleaning, medical care and promoting your pet for adoption. (Shelters do not receive free veterinary care!) Give as generously as you can. If you can’t give immediately, send a gift when circumstances improve or even offer to volunteer.
- Some shelters accept cages or supplies in good, usable condition for use or resale; but this should not be a substitute for a financial contribution.
- If your animal is very elderly and severely debilitated, it is unlikely to improve within the stress of a shelter environment. Think carefully about the options available for such an animal. Perhaps you can continue to care for it for whatever brief time it has remaining. Consult with your vet first before surrendering an ill ferret.